~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The History of Art ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
10,000 years ago there were three types of men; 1.) hunters, strong, tough men who killed and butchered the wooly mammoth; 2.) inventors, men who thought up things like spears, which made the hunters’ job easier, and fire, which made the wooly mammoth meat taste better and keep longer; 3.) slackers, who starved to death.
Then one day a slacker discovered that he could draw pictures on cave walls with berry juice. He drew pictures of the hunters killing the wooly mammoths, which pleased the hunters, and they shared their wooly mammoth with him. Then another slacker found that if he told stories around the fire at night, stories about the brave hunters and the wise inventors, he was allowed to share in the feast too. Then three slackers discovered that if one made melodic sounds by blowing into a reed, and a second sang a story, his voice in tune with the sound of the reed, and then if the third would beat on a log with a stick, making a nice rhythm section, the whole tribe could dance to the sounds they made. This was the first power trio.
Thus, the artist was born. But back then, only a few slackers were good at what they did, and most still starved, giving us the term, ‘Starving Artist.’ This system worked quite well until all slackers insisted they share in the feast, even though most of them had absolutely no talent. This lessening of artistic talent required to be called an ‘artist’ reached its climax with the invention of the NEA (an invention that was thought up by another type of slacker, called the ‘government bureaucrat’), which stands for National Endowment for the Arts. Now, every goofy slacker who can take a leak in jar containing a crucifix wants to be an artist and make lots of clams no matter how untalented he/she is. This lessening of the talent required to make one an artist has given us slackers like Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Carver, and the Black Eyed Peas masquerading as artists.
Admittedly, the people named in the last sentence achieved a fair level of success without the help of the NEA, which only strengthens the argument that the NEA should be abolished. One hundred and fifty million dollars a year might not be an earth shattering savings when considering the total US federal budget, but we have to cut somewhere, and the useless NEA is as good a place as any.